Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ichiran Ramen (一兰拉面) @ Causeway Bay (铜锣湾), Hong Kong (香港)

When one of the big names for Japanese Ramen- Ichiran Ramen first stormed Hong Kong few years ago, the queue was absurd and never had I thought that the queue remains relentless after the trend cools down. We joined the queue in late evening- slight past 9 pm and the queue was extended to two shops away from Ichiran. We waited patiently for half an hour and managed to squeeze our way in the shop, we then found out that the queue continued inside and for another half an hour. We managed to secure our seats. The one-hour waiting time seems to be extremely normal for Ichiran, in fact, it could go as long as two hours at certain days. The seating arrangement across all Ichiran branches is standardized and uniform so the signature one person one seat remains unchanged. Despite the long queue, the quality did not disappoint. The Ramen was lip-smacking and I'd love to return again but not too sure if I am willing to queue for an hour again though. 

Signature Ichiran Ramen- Normal (HKD $89)

Signature Ichiran Ramen- 4X Spicy (HKD $89)

One of the winning factors of Ichiran Ramen is the splash of Chili paste, which introduces a sleek but addictive spiciness to the seemingly flat Pork bone broth. Ichiran Ramen offers the flexibility for its diners to customize their Ramen- from greasiness to thickness of the broth, the addition of Japanese Roast Pork to Spring Onions, the texture of Ramen to the spiciness level; diners can pull out any ingredients that do not suit their palates. The Malaysian in me urged me to go for spicier version and I did. I had the 4X spiciness and to be frank, it was not really that spicy (for most Malaysians). The heat was right to invite the appetite and it cuts through the greasy Pork Bone broth. To my surprise, the seasoning was spot on. Even with the intense flavors (of Chilies, Pork Bone broth etc), the saltiness was perfectly balanced. Hands down, easily one of the best Ramen brands around.

Taste: 8/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 6/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Ambiance: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Parking: N/A
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax: No

Additional Information:
Address: Shop H & Shop 1 on GF of Block A, Lockhart House, 441, Lockhart Road & 440 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. (3 mins walk from Exit C Causeway Bay MTR Station)
Business Hours: 24 hours. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: +852 2152 4040